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Monday, December 25, 2017

How About a Preview...?

Hey all...well, I wish you and yours and Merry Xmas, a Joyous Yule, Blessed Kwanzaa, or whatever you like. 

I may have noted recently my displeasure or unhappiness at having to "get through" these holidays, and it's a battle. But I apologize if I freaked any of you out about that. I have a place to be today, and yesterday...I began writing a new, mad piece.

I've been working on this in my mind and through too many pages of sketches and storylines for two years. I hope it doesn't take that long to finish it.

I can't tell you too much about this, because I don't know how it's going to come out. But the story began from hours and miles of driving in total darkness, and listening to Joe Jackson's amazing Fast Forward CD.

So...here are the bashed out, first two pages of Part I, "Christmas in New York."

Times Square; this place was the center of New York City, mostly in the minds of those who’d never lived or been there. The place where dreams focused, for people who believed that old song, the one about making it there, and then propelling oneself further into the world.
      Christmas Eve, around the gigantic tree, bedecked with hundreds of ornaments, a thousand lights or more were revelers, celebrants of the holiday season, with lip service to the child supposedly born on this night, but more to the gayer, less serious aspects.
      Lights flashed across the sky, from the skyscrapers, the billboards and the windows of shops still open. Smaller and less noticed ones flickered as well, from the cameras of tourists taking selfies to broadcast to family and friends back home where they were. Others jammed the sidewalks and streets, partying from club to bar and then the next, and still more hitting those places with last-minute and impulse buys to be had.
      There too, the music: holiday sounds, from the traditional to contemporary, the voices of those at Mass and other more staid events, remembering what they were taught about the so-called Holy Night. The overproduced, glitzy versions of schmaltzy songs about winter wonderlands, a reindeer with an improbable nose, and of course Saint Nicholas; no one here seemed to remember the roots of these things, the Pagan Gods and Goddesses that bore these children.
      A word to the wise to those less experienced was: when in New York, one dressed and acted as though they lived there. The aim was not fall prey to the pickpockets, scammers and grifters that plied the city streets, in search of an easy mark.
      Amid the well-dressed and heeled, those of the middle and working classes walked, rushed and jostled for position in these streets, as they did all around the world. The chill of December was felt more by these folk, but they accepted cold and this time of year as a part of life. Their breath fogged like smoke or vapor; it rose and dissipated with millions more on this grand night.
      And within all these, were the ones that no one noticed, or would admit, even to themselves existed.
      The ragged creature shuffled along the sidewalk, her feet taking in the freezing walk through her battered sneakers. They didn’t even feel as though they were on her feet, these numb to near frostbite. That mattered nothing to her; at least they no longer hurt.
      She was surprised she felt anything at all. Cold had set in weeks before, and never left her. The thin clothing inside of the wool coat, still not one for this weather, did nothing to protect her from the elements. Her gloves, the fingers torn or cut away by a previous owner weren’t much help, but she flexed her hands and fingers as much as possible to keep some feeling. It gave her something to do with her hands, and to focus on.
      Her jeans had seen better years, and the wool cap could not keep the long, matted rat’s nest of black hair from being seen. Down over her shoulders it bounced, and looked more like dreadlocks.
      If anyone chose to look at this thin, gaunt urchin, one might see a face. Thin and long, the jawline was not completely square, but decently formed. Skin, pale from exposure; a Caucasian but not through and through, because it would have taken a very close look to see there might be a little more in this girl’s lineage.
      The eyes were a liquid blue, the black lashes long, even under the body’s duress. The nose, thin, not too large or too small, and the lips too seemed correct for a female that one might draw a picture of. She was not beautiful by the standards of the day, but she was not ugly, either, apart from her current disposition.
      The wind blew down these streets as the girl walked through, unable to find any protection from the buildings, the numerous vehicles or the people who stormed along; they paid no heed to this child, and she did not stop or bother them.
      There was no point. As the wind again tore through her, she drew her thin jacket, most of the buttons long gone about her, and kept on. The clouds had thickened throughout the day, she’d noticed, and there was almost no sun from this morning. A winter storm was coming; the first flakes had already begun to fall, glinting with the colors of the Christmas and city lights, and floated down like confetti. They already had begun to collect on the parked cars, SUVs, trucks and taxicabs that lined the block; it would be a bad night.
      Again, it didn’t matter. She kept walking, but her head came up slightly. Leaned against a brick wall, alongside one of the high end stores, she saw a man. Barely able to stand, in a rough looking jacket and clothes nearly as pathetic as her own, he held out a used McDonald’s cup, asking for spare change. There were few takers.
      She looked at him as she came abreast of him: he was black, probably in his twenties, but the live he led made him look forty. Sharp features, in the cheekbones, the prominent nose, damaged teeth behind his lips; his brown eyes stared at this strange one that walked past him.

      No words were exchanged, but the two nodded. They understood one another.

Well, what do you think? It is a dark, odd beginning, no? The book is tentatively entitled, Times Best Remembered, and I'll explain that in further detail when we finally get there.

I did this the other day:



I made a road trip from Harrisburg to Valley Forge, with a short stopover in Newtown Square, right near a former workplace. My goals were to hit every rest stop on the PA Turnpike, where I left "gifts" of my books.

Yes, it is a cost, but a write off. Here now, my books for free, in hand to those I hope will read them, like them, and expand the base.

The deck is stacked against us indie authors, it's rigged. Big bookstores won't stock you, indie bookstores won't stock you. They stock what they know they can sell.

How it is...we must make ourselves visible, and obnoxious. I aim to.

Feh!

So anyway, let me know if you like that. It's a good story; might be the best thing I've done.

The best work is the one you have not yet written.

Peace, Out.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Reading of Book 1 of the SDS

Here is a quick one...a while back, I submitted the first chapter of my book, "Sweet Dreams: Searching for Roy Buchanan" to the Wildsound Festival in Canada.

Here is a reading of Chapter 1:




How about that?

One of the things I've been looking for, for quite some time, are actors or others to "read" the characters as they might see them in their own minds. That presentation has always been of interest to me, and I recently have been talking with theatrical friends about that possibility.

It's down the road, but worth looking at.

Does this make you want to read it? I hope so.

The Sweet Dreams Series is a multi-volume work that I began in 2007. Here is the Wildsound link that tells you about the story, and a bit about me:

https://novelwritingfestival.com/2017/12/16/novel-reading-of-sweet-dreams-searching-for-roy-buchanan-by-tory-gates/

Now I am still pushing and promoting my latest, "Live from the Cafe," on Brown Posey Press. BPP will do the SDS next year, and we'll be working up till then on this.

I got a really nice bit of validation yesterday from someone who knows what's what in theater. I gave the pitch, and explained this idea...

"You have quite a universe going on there," or something like that.

That's kinda cool. I have to really expand it, though. So much more to do.

Anyway, I thought Rachel did a very nice job on the read...I like hearing different voices, and it intrigues me to hear how others interpret the work.

Anyway, I don't know if I'm going to be back before X-day, but either way, have a good one.

Peace, Out.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Being the Change...Tag, You're It!


A scarlet, blood-red font to begin...

And then things take a turn. 

I watch as our mad world continues to spin, and realize that not much has changed. One of the reasons for that, of course, is our innate fear of change, doing anything different, and being different in any way but for the norm.

As we move into the "Holiday" season, I am not detecting as much of the annual madness this year. Mostly I think because I am trying to ignore it. 

My family and I stopped the gift-giving madness in the early 80s, because of cost. Even then, in the money-money-money 80s, we saw before others what was coming. I am not opposed to the give, or the get, but some things just lose their whatever.

This month is one that I get through, rather than experience. I do not feel the Christmas spirit, partly because of the ongoing argument.

We bitch and complain about the consumerist excess, but queue up at Black Friday and trample people to get "deals."

We talk about the religious reasons/aspects of the holiday, and how differently it was celebrated (not at all, really), and forget that entirely, forgetting conveniently that the holidays are Pagan ones.

I see no reason to not be kind to yourself this time of year, or at any time. I'm usually working most holidays, but I've also been fortunate to have friends willing to make space for one of those outlanders at their table or in their home for a bit. It's always cool.

I do find myself pretty often realizing my disgust for people who continue to live in a delusional fantasy that usually involves spewing hatred like blasts of birdshot, typically from behind a computer keyboard and a fake screen name. Or if they are really narcissistic, they put their name on it.

Look at me! 

Nah, I'll pass.





This is an exciting comment, and there's a backstory to it, and it has to do with a mother asking Gandhi's counsel about her son's sugar habit.

Gandhi reportedly said, come back in two weeks, and I'll have a talk with him.

Perplexed, the lady did as asked. He then spoke with the child, who said he'd work on it.

The mother asked, why did you wait two weeks?

Gandhi reportedly replied he had the same bad habit, and took the two weeks to work on it himself.

Interesting.

I'd heard that before, only it was a father asking for his son. Apocryphal or not, it is an example of not doing, "Do as I say, not as I do."

I, for example, cannot tell someone to stop drinking coffee. Nor would I ever.

Not sure why I'm writing about this, but change is a thing that is so frightening.

The reason we see the backlash against progress, and this is progress of any kind, is because those who think they have something to lose, actually think they're going to lose it.

Their guns, their marriage, their privilege, their...whatever.

We have a sad sense of nostalgia, as evidenced by our love affair with old things. Old music, which we have some connection to (I can't deny it), old TV shows, old cars, old movies, all leading up to the "Way Things Used to Be."

I once wrote in a lyric, "Don't look back at the past, because it might just catch up to you." 

Too many just remember the good things; they don't remember the trauma. They don't remember the violence. They don't remember the hate. They don't remember what hurt them.

And yet they still go back there, don't they?

It is fine to listen to great sounds from the past, whatever ones you love because there's great inspiration there. Authors, too, although as one myself I've felt rather disappointed in some of them.

Certain books I thought were great books, weren't so great in my mind. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, is hardly erotic or even sexual. It is an attack on the paper it's printed on, by a fiddling, obsessive-compulsive character, who began by writing a fascinating, descriptive tale...and the last half of it was a repeat that served zero purposes.

E.M. Forster's A Passage to India I'm trying to get through. The story is one that takes you there, and you are immersed in the colonialism, the racism, the outright arrogance of Britain. The Indian characters are willingly subjugated, foolish, stereotypical, even the doctors and lawyers who have somehow managed an education, lucky to avoid the lower castes.

It just does not translate into a story, but meanders in and out of places, and while it makes some sense, it does not tell me a good story.

There's a lot of great writers, many more good ones, and a lot of awful ones.

That's fucking that.

I don't think most writers are born great, nor are they recognized for it. I do cringe when certain people are hailed as the next great American author, or the next great whatever. What makes them great?

Somehow they fall into it, tell a story that grabs people, and it just works. But it needs to be in the hands of those who can get it into other hands, just as people put things on top of other things.

I'm going through another cycle of cynicism, but thankfully my old habits are largely gone, apart from the afore-mentioned caffeine.

So yeah...the change.

Tag, we're it!

If we want change, we have to make it. How do we do it?

You decide for yourself. 

This is the thing...I write...for ME.

I had to get that through my head. These are stories I want to write, am inspired to write, and enjoy writing. This is how I discharge all of the madness from inside my head, in order to figure out what's going to show up next.

Now, a shameless plug:


...and Amazon.com if you like.

Live is kind of a go back home story because I drew on growing up in Vermont, near Quebec, and the things I recalled (what I can, anyway) formed the basis of that story.

The mythical town of Harlandsville is a place that could be anywhere, but it also changes with the times.

Change is the big C in that town...they talk about it, think about it, experience it, and don't always like it.

But they DO IT.

The residents of the town, lifers, transplants, regular passers through? They know it's happening, and they can't stop it. But they carry one because their lives depend on that change.

It may seem that weird little cafe is the place where time stops, but it's only for a little while. Where the Smartphones are put away, and people have nothing to do but drink coffee, and talk to each other.

Not a bad thing, now and again.

I think if I did run a cafe, I'd be out of business in six months w/o no wifi...but it'd be kinda different, don't you think?

Okay to live in the time when you didn't have hotspots, but again you're not living there. 

And you know, Luc and Emily are Millennials, but their clientele goes across the spectrum. There, NO ONE gives a shit whether you're an old far, a Boomer, a Yuppie, a Gen X-er, or a Millennials, or what the fuck you are.

Step inside, you're welcome.

Make that every damn place we go. 

I don't give a fuck who or what you are. Respect is a two-way street. Don't give me shit, I won't give you shit.

Figure out how to straighten things out, and not just in a wardroom coffee clatch, but actually get out and do it.

I do it through work, by being fair, straight-up, and our employer is that way. You know when you hear us, you hear it fairly and correctly. 

If you like it, good. If you don't, that's fine, but you have to decide what to do with what you heard and learned.

Change.

The writing? I write for ME, but I hope to write for you. I hope you find my stories interesting, compelling, fun, whatever it does for you I hope is good.

I write what I want to see. The world I hope for, usually in everyday life. It may not be what you see, or want to see but it's a world that is attainable. 

Do we want it enough?

Do we want the change enough?

I know what I do. 

Think about yours.

Peace, Dafuq Out.








Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Rock, the Island, and What On Earth is This?

It is time as we approach the Deep and Dark December, that I again realize that I have to devote a period of time to this blog thing. I haven't done it much of late, because I'm busy. And I don't often feel I have much to contribute to the blogverse any longer.

Someone recently made an observation about my busy nature. It is that, to be busy, to be occupied, to be doing things. An old friend counseled me in her way of saying something without meaning it be a judgment, that I was doing things to keep myself busy.

She would be right.

The important thing for me is to try and keep myself moving forward, despite the ever-increasing need to focus an ever-declining number of brain cells toward tasks at hand. 

The Simon & Garfunkel tune has always resonated with me. I wonder who that misanthropic character is based on. Interesting that song out of so many wonderful ones from that period showed up on my radar as a young person, and stayed.

I had old Columbia 45's (remember those?) my brothers had and left...I think those were David's, but I can't be sure. Anyway, the music of the late 60's was in the head of a young child, post-Boomer, pre-70's, who knows what I was.

I'm aware of certain things from that period, not all of them good. I remember the music my brothers listened to specifically: Beatles, Stones, CCR, Dylan, the Doors, I think. Not a bad template to learn from, and the generations after that followed them.

Music again is coming back around for me, but it is not taking. An old friend and bandmate is interested again, as is a friend from another project. I don't know.

I honestly don't. I can still write, but do I have the health, and/or the energy to do another band, another project? I have some questions that need to be asked before I commit.

My writing...I am a pre-Curmudgeonly Zen Pagan Bastard who is in a Fucking Hurry. I am trying to be patient.

I had a very interesting experience the past couple of weeks, and I want to share what happened with the online retailer Amazon.

I give you Exhibit A:




"Parasite Girls" came out in 2013, and you can get it from me (when you see me, heh!), on Amazon.com and on Smashwords for cheap, if you have an e-reader, any of them.

Well, this book was mired down in about 8-millionth-515-thousandth place for fiction not that long ago. There are something like 11 million books for sale through Amazon.

My old friend Jim Henry, author of many interesting things, such as the Antiquity Calais series told me that he purchased his books full price for his book signing stock, because it helped his sales numbers.

I thought about that, and so I conducted a test. I bought ONE copy of "Parasite Girls," $9.99 plus shipping. I wanted to see what would happen; it takes a day for the figures on Amazon to catch up.

Next day, "Parasite Girls" was at 255-thousandth something.

What's that tell you?

Was that a fluke? So just for fun, I tried with my latest, "Live from the Cafe."



Well, it was at 7 or 8-millionth whatever, too. That jumped to 250-thousandth or thereabouts.

One book.

One full-price buy did that.

What. The. Fuck?

Not like I'm getting a lot of the cut for those, but damn. So friends, this is why we need to have the support of those who dig what we do.

If a few people, just a few people buy the book, Amazon and the muckety-mucks who know what's what in the literary world will take notice.

"And if two people do it...in harmony..." (Thank you, Arlo Guthrie)

It becomes an organization, or a movement.

You know, I totally get that my writings may not be your thing. I get that money is tight as fuck, and if the tax package those drooling bottomfeeders want to pass in DC goes through, it will be even tighter.

The thing I need, however, is not just that. I have to keep writing, I have to keep working, and I have to get the body of work going in the direction it needs to go.

I'm not seeing the support of the community the way we thought we'd see it. Local bookshops may not be in the keeping of a corporate office telling them everything to do, but they too must stock what they know they can sell. Shelf space is not easy in too many cases.

Doing my best to get my work out there, to get that attention, to get the public to meet the real, live author, and then it becomes the pitch that you hope gets people to whip out their card or their wallet.

Hardest part is when someone is supportive, and says they'll buy your stuff...and then they don't.

I don't mind if you don't, but don't bullshit me. If it is not your thing, I'm cool with it. My work is a semi-acquired taste, I realize that.

But I gotta get the next one ready, and I'm formulating too many things at once, while doing everything else at the same time.

This is how it is. I'm in a hurry, because I may leave this body before all things are in place. So that's why I'm like this.

Okay...now here's the topic of the week.

Sexual harassment, and/or assault.

Yikes.

The body count is rising. From Harvey Weinstein's antics, it now has crossed all manner of business. Roy Moore, in his fake "Christian" arrogance and the idea that women are handmaids and girls are virginal creatures for the taking and abuse is still likely to win a seat in Washington.

Matt Lauer, #1 seat holder on the "Today" show is gone, and suddenly. 

And why am I not surprised about Garrison Keillor?

Well...first of all, I don't know any of these guys. But you see them, and you know the culture we are in.

In the media business, believe me, it hasn't changed much. The Boys Club is still that, and horny, crotch-grabbing, masturbatory world of 40 year olds who didn't make it past middle school for maturity. All you need do is listen to sports talk radio, or any talk radio, and you can hear it.

Let's think about harassment. You know, I was as guilty as some, but thankfully I have not suffered consequences other than embarrassment, having to face something I didn't fully understand, and then owning it.

One reason we have people like this is because we do not have frank, honest discussion about sex, sexuality, and the breaking down of roles, re: what we are and what women are, and how we're supposed to treat one another.

I had no social skills growing up. None. I had very little understanding for attractions, and I didn't always understand what others said. I was behind the curve.

The things we said in college...you have to know, I didn't have hardly any contact with high school peers. I remember emotionally how I was the first year in college, awkward, shy, not mature enough to be there.

I admit that my efforts to know certain people were taken wrong...but that is my fault.

I own not understanding how I creeped out people that were my friends. I didn't know, but I did know. 

That immaturity lasted until I got called out my senior year by a young woman. She let me have it and I deserve what I got.

I apologized, and I think she accepted that.

That incident changed a lot of my thinking, but I still had a lot of growing up to do. I have at times not been correct, but I am certain I've not intentionally hurt anyone.

I learned my boundaries, and I want to think I am ever more mindful of that.

So why has this perpetuated itself all these decades?

Well, let's look at some of what I heard and saw in my career. Certain jobs I had were pretty chill, in terms of the male/female dynamic. I did have one issue with one fellow employee; me forgetting myself, not gauging a sense of humor, a fuckup again, on my part.

Beyond that and before it: I could not be surprised at the sexist, and misogynistic attitude some men (and men old enough to know better) displayed toward female colleagues, be they announcers, in sales, or interns.

Ei, but the interns got shit from some quarters. I remember one station was a mill for interns. One executive had nicknames for some of them. The prerequisite for an intern was not where you went to college, what you were doing in school, or what you had for any kind of track record, but how short were their skirts, and how big were their breasts.

That's an observation. I know what I saw, and heard. I found out that one of the young ladies who was in the place for a time trained as a kickboxer. I was manager of the station at the time; I gave her permission to use her skills as necessary.

She was amused, but she understood, and seemed to have been through it before. I kind of hoped to walk in one day and find one of the offenders lying on the floor after taking a roundhouse kick to the teeth.

One of my colleagues was still thinking he was in his 20's when he was not. He totally was convinced that if a young female sat, stood or breathed in his vicinity that, SHE WANTS ME!!!

FACEPALM.

My point is not to stigmatize anyone or anything like that. My point is, we have all fucked up at least once in our lives.

We have said things we wished we didn't say; we did things we could take back. We can't. We can only hope to show some growth by being sorry, admitting our error, and trying to make it right.

Some people are beyond hope. They truly believe they can do no wrong, that everyone's overreacting, they're lying, they're soft, they're Milennials, they're snowflakes, this, that, etc.

NO. YOU ARE JUST A FUCKING CHILD IN AN ADULT BODY. 

We need to grow up, folks. In so many ways.

We don't live in the past. This is not the set of "Mad Men," or any of those other shows.

I don't give a shit what you look like. I don't care what you wear, or don't wear. If you're working with me, you are a fellow, a colleague and we are working for the same fucking goals.

You might be asking, "Well, don't you have attractions for women?"

Of course I do. I'm just at the point of knowing that in my life, the way things are...I don't see women interested in me. Or anyone, for that matter.

Yes, people, male or female, neutral, this, that whatever, you interest me by what you say, what you do, how you are. I don't have to agree with you politically, religiously, spiritually, or on anything. 

But how do you treat people? And how do you see me?

I take it as a case by case thing, and try to do my best to be the person who would like you to treat me as I do you. If that makes sense.

Yes, some people rub me the wrong way. Some people piss me off. Some people I find abhorrent.

I don't hate anyone. I despise some people, dislike others, have contempt for a few, but I don't hate them.

Hate is a destroyer. The people who spew their filth on social media from behind their keyboards and fake screen names, you are killing yourselves. You are taking a dull, jagged butter knife and disemboweling yourself on the Altar of Facebook.

If you think your employer, your family and friends can't see you, think again. They will find you; hopefully before your ulcerated cancerous soul dies, and your lie in a pool of your own self-satisfaction.

Now some of these people...a disturbing story has come about regarding Ann Curry, a co-host on "Today." I always felt that Ann was a good journalist, who would have made a very good host.

They used her as a toy, a fool, a joke, the token Asian lady. The worst thing they did to her was dress her up like a cheerleader.

Nothing surprised me about morning TV and it still doesn't. News is not delivered from a couch, assholes. I'm showing my age, but so what?

Curry it seems was set up to fail by those behind the scenes, and it appears Lauer, if not behind it directly, was in on the game and approved.

She was gone, Lauer was given millions to re-up in 2012-13, because execs were worried. Meredith Vieira was leaving, and the loss of the appealing and popular host, coupled with the potential loss of Lauer, left NBC in trouble. 

They didn't trust Curry, nor like her, and they ran her out. They treated her like shit.

Now Lauer suddenly got fired. My guess is whatever he did or is alleged to have done was bad enough, or, a long enough pattern beyond circumstancial evidence or he-said, she-said that he had to go.

Keillor...I'll tell you what, the urbane, cultured, intelligent voice of Lake Woebegon was a gifted storyteller, and is. He is a decent author and writer, and he knew how to run a show.

I did not like certain things about "A Prairie Home Companion." For one, his use of executive privilege.

His singing. He can't. I can sing better than that.

I didn't mind his singing the open, "Ah, hear that old piano from down the avenue..." That sets the tone, you know where you are. That was fine.

But his insistance on singing with the guests! No, just didn't work.

And the pervy old geezer...I remember his bizarre, strange, haunted look he had on his face when the show was live on TV several years back. He was telling a story, and he looked and acted for the world as a perv. Something was just not right.

I thought, "Okay, it's how he looks, his voice, this is how he gets the point across."

Then later on, his perverse onstage gushing over a singer named Iris DeMent. Iris is a folksinger from Kansas, and her voice is unique. She is a good musician and a very good songwriter.

Her voice is high. Nails on a chalkboard high; I get it, but I don't.

Well, she was a staple on the show, and I figured out why one time while listening. Keillor introduced her and over-explained how they were going to sing "a love song" together.

He sounded like a quivering, licentious fiddler (not a musician) as he spoke to DeMent onstage in a way that was disturbing. Fucking Disturbing. 

They sang "That's the Way Love Goes," which Merle Haggard made a hit with. She sounded fine; he sounded like himself. Embarrassing.

Why on Earth DeMent kept going on that show I have no idea. Maybe she didn't feel he was doing anything, I don't know. We'll have to ask her.

Now...this incident:

I do not know the woman's side yet...Keillor has admitted to touching her, but that either she moved, or things didn't angle right, and she was taken aback.

He apologized. Is that what happened? I don't know, I was not there.

This is not to defend Keillor, because his track record of treating backstage people is not good. He's not the nicest man, I hear, but to be fair I have not met him.

I think we guys need to check ourselves. Even if we have not said/done anything, and our records and consciences are clear, here is the lesson I've learned over the years.

Men are NOT chick magnets. Women do NOT want us, just because we're there.

I've often felt my physical condition, look, size or whatever is hardly sexy by the standards that we're expected to uphold. Women, well, see what they're forced to deal with. It's worse. I don't think I need to go there.

As a man, I know certain things attract me, but I hope I know that is not what makes a person, not one bit. 

A little advice from an old guy about relationships, and the love thing: my experience has always been, that I didn't expect to fall for someone. 

I was not looking for it. It happened. It didn't matter to me who that person was, the feeling was there, and it went from there.

At my age, I have a lot of what I call Intellectual Friends. People I can talk to, hang out with, discuss things. I find those the best relationships, because those people become your friends.

That's about it.

We are going through them changes, and we've resisted change with every fiber. We can't live in the past anymore, we need live for the now, and for the future. It's changing, all of it is changing, we are changing.

Embrace the change. Accept the change, and know that change does not have to kill you. Unless you want it to. 

If that's the case and you cling to that past, my dear, you're on your own.

Peace, Out.





Friday, November 17, 2017

The Sweet Dreams Series, Rebooting the Blog, and Writing Stuff!

The reboot is underway...welcome to mid-November and the return of "Words of a Pre-Curmudgeonly Zen Pagan."

I was inspired by my old friend Riz to finally do something I've been wanting to do for a long time and see if I can actually make things work. 

To show you how incredibly brain-dead I am when it come to computers, it took me this long (w/help from a nice tech support lady) to figure out how to link my old blog to my website.

Not like a lot's going on, but we gotta get that back in action. So what is going on?

Well, I'm forever going to be Pre-Curmudgeonly, because I don't think I've gotten that old, or that grumpy that I'm gonna be like that. I'm doing my best to deal with growing older, and knowing that while I can't fight off Father Time, I can still live with him.

I write this as I'm doing a Ninja Book Signing in the metropolis of Dillsburg, PA.

Wait for it...

Don't know why it's so small on this page, but whatever. Yes, sitting about, making like the pretentious author to see if any of the Millenials or Boomers will notice that stack of books with my name on them before their eyes...but then, most people don't come here to buy books.

But you never know.

Add to it, the battle rages on to get books in stores, even indie shops. They sell only what they can sell, that's about all.

Now if you've not seen my blog posts here in a while, that is because I was blogging on my website, and Wix didn't tell me specifically that I could fucking link this to that. Until that nice young lady told me I could and showed me. 

So "More" at the top of the old webpage, and you can find the recent stuff.

No one's really looking, so the grumpy old guy is gonna blog here again, so there!

Now...where are we at this point?

Okay...let's take this under further review: "Live from the Cafe" is the latest, and I'm flogging it best I can. The big news of late is that Sunbury Press Books is spinning off into a number of new presses. I'm on Brown Posey Press.


Cute. And different. I like different.

So "Live..." and "A Moment in the Sun" are on Brown Posey, and "Parasite Girls" can still be found at Amazon.

Link Time!

https://www.amazon.com/Tory-Gates/e/B01LXQ5YSQ?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

OK...everything is right there. Or here...

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Tory-Gates_c146.htm

Now...the next one is coming...back in 2007, I began combining weird elements of Japan, time travel, anime, and the blues into a thing I called the Sweet Dreams Series. The first book of the series, "Searching for Roy Buchanan" is set for sometime next year.

The story has changed a lot. I am not finished with it. Years of dreaming, weird conversations with crazy characters, scenarios that made zero sense, and a lot of discussions have brought the gang just a little bit closer to their coming out.

It's still completely mad. 

The thing that is important to me is to expand the markets for all my works. When I write, I write like I'm watching a movie. What does this look like on screen? In the pages of a graphic novel? Does this adapt, and still tell the story?

So far, I've done pretty well with it I think. Now...getting these into the hands of people who actually buy things.

And also to get those other fun things, such as the people who can help bring those to reality, the book is one thing, the movies, the anime, and graphic novels, so much more that is out of my hands, at least for now.

So there is that. I have many more titles. More stories. Not in the series, but more written, and nearly ready to go. I have to figure how to get these out in the coming years. 

A lot of possibilities, but sometimes I feel I need an agent or a booker, or a manager, or something.

Now what else? My life is reasonably stable. Life in Harrisburg is good; I'm quite enjoying my home, and it feels more like one as time goes by. 

Of course, I have to get out to be around the humans, my cats will go mad having me in there all the time!

Depression seems to have finished with me for now, but I also know it is always there...I've managed to get that past for a bit, and I've had to make some changes.

I'm still a bit mad; still a bit hyper-focused, still cynical, still probably very weird to be around. But I gotta do something.

I want to share this again. I generally do not write poetry, but this came out the last time I blogged. I rather like it.

“Me”
10/20/17
TG

"I don't honestly expect anyone to love, or even remotely like me. I must seem really awkward to people who have never met me before, or have only heard of me. I almost have never watched myself on video, and while I do have to listen to my voice pretty often in the journalistic world, I don't take too much time to marvel at how fabulous I am.

Because I'm not. I'm me.

Me is a loner, a depressive, anxious, obsessive character.

Me is someone who has slowly tried to peel away the various layers of dead skin, to consider what is inside.

Me is curious about that internal character; one that tries to do the right things, tries to be nice to people, and tries to treat them the way he'd like to be.

Me occasionally finds that odd person who he recognizes, meaning he recognizes himself in that person. Two different people, two different personalities, two different human beings, but who see the unique in one another, and are cool with that.

Me does not try to outdo people, outsell people, or step on people to get his own way. 

Me tries not to hurt people, but sometimes does, usually inadvertently.

When that happens, Me agonizes over it, and wants to make things right. Even after doing that, and even being forgiven, Me remains unforgiven for a very long time.

Me spent years in self-loathing, but not self-pity. Those are different things.

Me spent years on medication, which stabilized and calmed him enough to where he could function again. After 12 years of that, Me finally had to give it up. 

Giving up the drug was easier than quitting smoking, go figure. 

After 3-4 weeks of withdrawal, Me saw colors again.

Me wonders how he was able to create, to write nonstop for 10 years, and now after three published works, is prepared to unveil the one that started everything...the first book of the Sweet Dreams Series.

Me has found a few good things. Me can do a few things well, if he applies himself to it, and is mindful.

Me also likes to write, to create, and to him it is fun, and also therapy.

Work to Me is not work. Me has spent more than 30 years doing just what he wanted to do.

Me is no longer unhappy about not being something he really had no right trying for, because he just was not that thing. Me was better than that.

Me takes a little pardonable pride (hopefully) that what he creates is at least appreciated, even if not understood.

Me does not know where this will end. Me wonders about what could occur, because nothing would make him happier than to see someone, even if one person, enjoy what he has to offer, and know he made a difference, even for one moment.

The characters in Me's books are not all Me, they are friends, acquaintances, people Me has run across, and those from the back of Me's self-consciousness. They are interesting, diverse, funny, saddened, crazed lunatics who generally are trying to make their way and figure out what the point of their lives are.

Me doesn't own a lot of shit. Me is trying to get rid of a lot of shit. Me does not drive a big car, does not have a big house, does not own a time-share in Cozumel, and has never traveled that much. 

But Me knows the time for things will come when they come, and Me just hopes to not have to leave this body before finding out how that road he started on so many years ago ends. Probably like Shel Silverstein's book cover, it might just be that hilariously silly edge of disaster, but who knows?

Me doesn't hate you for what you have, nor is Me jealous. Enjoy what you have; Me is thankful to have what he does.

Me likes being at home now, taking some sort of care of his home, his catkids, and puttering about in his studio, his bedroom, or wherever.

Me likes a good stiff cup of Morebucks (the coffee, really), and to just fucking exist.

Me is all right. Me is gonna be all right, because he's looking after himself, and thinking about what little thing he can give that'll help.

Me won't save the world, but he might save himself.


What do you think? Weird, eh?

Oh well...I'm doing okay, and I must continue to be patient, but also drive forward each day if ever I'm to get these things out, and to get a public to actually look at my work, and see the potential for the other things.

Anyway, this is where we are now. I hope we can keep on moving, past the madness in our world right now, before we become the dystopian idiocy that everyone likes to wank about but doesn't want to live for real.

95% of the world does live that way, it feels like.

Anyway, this grumpy old cat needs more coffee, and he's gotta move.

Let me know if you like my work...please leave a review at Amazon, Brown Posey or wherever you like if you've read my shit, and let me know what you think.

Gotta move, gotta move. 

Peace, Out.